In case you missed this on Idol a few weeks ago, it’s moments like this that define an artists career. I’m predicting at least Top 5 for this little darlin’.
Sharing music is something that just truly makes me happy. So, I’d like to share some with you. Here are a few of the gems I’ve come across lately…
The Features, “This Disorder”
The Features have this eclectic sound that is really unlike anything I’ve ever heard in popular music. This is the first single off their 3rd studio album, due out this spring.
Demi Lovato, “Heart Attack”
This song is going to be huge (i think it might be already). Demi’s vocals are spot on as usual, and the production is just right. The perfect song to jam in the car when no one’s looking.
Matt Hires, “Restless Heart”
I’m not sure where Matt Hires has been all my life, but “Restless Heart” is one of my new favorite songs. His voice is unique in a familiar way, and there’s an honesty in his lyrics that just pulls me in.
Fall Out Boy, “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light ‘Em Up)”
They’re back! I wasn’t sure what to make of this song at first, but I think that’s because I’ve been on such a Fall Out Boy withdraw I didn’t know how to process. ❤
Alkaline Trio, “I Wanna Be A Warhol”
More of the same from Alkaline Trio on this one. I’m of course excited for their new album, but not sure this would have been a single choice for me. Nonetheless it’s catchy, and I love the irony.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “A Wake – feat. Evan Roman”
By now you’ve probably heard “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, but “A Wake – feat. Evan Roman” has a more serious vibe while still managing to be sarcastic and about as far from trite as you can get. Fave lyric: “our generation isn’t the best on safe sex/we forget the latex/becoming planned parenthood patients.”
It’s no secret we love a good pop singer/songwriter here at Audio I.V. And in honor of that love today’s featured artist is none other than Hermosa Beach cutie, Katie Costello.
A serious musician from an early age, Costello has made some serious waves for a 20-year-old. Her quirky vocals and clever lyrics landed her tunes on numerous TV networks including CW and ABC, and got her featured on LA’s KCRW as a ‘Top Tune of the Day’. She’s been in Teen Vogue, Marie Claire, and Paste Magazine to name a few, and her cover of Weezer’s “Island in the Sun” is currently featured on Bilboard’s Mashup Mondays here.
Hype aside, Katies most alluring feature is undoubtedly her unique voice. A blend of Sara Bareilles, KT Tunstall and Ingrid Michaelson, Costello’s tone has the ability to pierce right through you, and then softly woo’s you over. Her control is uncanny, and her delicate vibrato brings each note to life with an effortless simplicity.
Then there’s her incredible talent for songwriting. She began putting pen to paper at just 13, and credits her music-writing as the catalyst that would ultimately prepare her for the public eye. (read the full interview on spinner.com here) Her lyrics are generally simple, but strung together with obvious intention and generous consideration for phrasing, and her melodies are anything but predictable.
The first single off her new full-length, Lamplight is “Cassette Tape” and we think it’s a perfect example of the types of songs you’ll find on the record. An homage to all those faceless friends in your social network, this quirky little ditty is reminiscent of early Ingrid Michaelson, and is quite a challenge to listen to without taping a toe or two. Another stand out from Katie is “City Scapes” which can be found on her recent EP, The City In Me. About as ballad-like as Costello gets, “City Scapes” moves delicately through arpeggiated verses and then jumps right into a punchy hook, telling darkly lit story of love and inspiration.
With three releases under her belt, Katie has a ton of music to choose from, but we recommend you start your journey with the most recent installment, Lamplight. You can find it on iTunes and anywhere else digital music is sold, or preview it on Katie’s MySpace here. The resources put into this record are obvious, and her songwriting really shines through. Especially on tracks like “Ashes Ashes” and “Out of Our Minds” where delicate melodies play with unconventional phrasing. Lamplight allows Katie’s voice to take on many forms as she bobs and weaves through the 12 tracks. She channels influences like Amie Mann and Fiona Apple, and straying only now and then from familiarity, and at times even sounding like a understated version of Katy Perry. (Think, “Not Like the Movies” or “Thinking of You”)
Regardless of influence, though, it’s clear, even upon first listen, that Katie is a true artist in every sense of the word. Her knack for word play and impressive melodic sensibilities have helped her carve a nice little niche for herself in the singer/songwriter world. In just a few short years Katie has accomplished what most musicians will only ever dream of, and her future looks nothing but bright.
We hope this little introduction will entice you to explore Katie’s world even more. Purchase Lamplight if you’re so inclined, and check out a show or two if you’re in the New York area. Until then, you can see the video for Katie’s new single, “Cassette Tape” below, and check back for more updates as they come.
In case your Sunday has you looking for some new music. Shout out to MuttsMusic.com for introducing us to these guys!
West coast transplants, Jason Hendrix and Jason Richards made the move from San Diego, CA to Chicago, IL back in 2007 to collaborate with long time friend and producer Jason Clark. After months of hashing out tunes in their respective basements, and finally finding a drummer in Jeremy Pena, BIG SCIENCE was born into the underbelly of the Windy City. Three hundred and sixty-five days of writing, rehearsing and heavy drinking later, the friends embarked on a journey to record their first EP, The Coast of Nowhere, and self-released it in January of 2009.
The five-song EP is a collection of new wave minimalism, nineties alt-rock, and eighties post-punk, with a heavy nod toward shoe gaze, and distinctively artistic pop sensibilities. The title track makes for the perfect introduction to BIG SCIENCE, with it’s reverb-soaked guitars and Bono-esque vocals, and should be followed-up by our personal favorite, “DNC”, which channels more of the band’s post-punk influences, mixing a grittier vocal, ethereal ooh’s and ahh’s, and picking up the tempo just slightly.
In all sincerity, The Coast of Nowhere is an indie gem just waiting to be discovered. There’s a clever irony in the lyrics, and a familiarity it’s sound that’s comforting, like an old afghan your grandmother knitted just for you. For a self-recorded, mixed, and produced effort, it’s anything but amateur, and would have no trouble competing for a spot in any music-enthusiasts collection.
As for the men who created this incredible record they’ve described themselves better than we ever could, saying, BIG SCIENCE is simply, “another band made up of four friends, entrenched, dedicated, and in love with the act of making music that captivates and exalts the tones of being, of youth, [and] of the city.” So here’s to BIG SCIENCE, wherever they may find themselves today. It’s one thing to envision a record like The Coast of Nowhere, but to execute it with such seemingly effortless precision is quite another. To you we say, “Keep ’em comin’!” At the very least you have a fan in Audio I.V. 🙂
He’s played for Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis, The Elected and others, but now guitarist Mike Bloom is ready to make waves as a solo artist via the debut of his first full-length, King of Circles. Written, performed, and mixed by Mike himself (with a few co-production exceptions) King of Circles is smooth, warm, and subtly affectionate.
Songs like “Floataway Sinner” where a scornful woman exacts revenge on her helpless victim, and “Butcher Paper”, an evocative love song with descriptive lyrics, paint vivid, emotional pictures while maintaining a certain familiarity fans of The Elected will undoubtedly recognize.
The first single from King of Circles is the acoustically driven “Anything But This”, which starts unassumingly and gradually blossoms into a bittersweet story of two lovers who just can’t seem to get on the same proverbial page. The melody is sweet, and as acoustic pop/rock tunes go, this one is more infectious than mediocre.
Check out the video for “Anything But This” below, and scope out Mike’s MySpace for more info on shows and upcoming releases.